Spotting Tungsten Carbide in Your Household Products
What Is Tungsten Carbide?
Tungsten carbide, though a naturally occurring compound, is used both in it’s raw state (combined with other metals) to manufacture tools and equipment plus recycled tungsten carbide scrap is processed and remanufactured into various products for use in the general market.
Tungsten Carbide is an inorganic chemical compound (WC) containing equal parts of tungsten and carbide. Its most basic form is that of a fine grey dust and is generally mined in China. Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest compounds found naturally and used in many industries to produce a long wearing, heat and scratch resistant material when combined (or cemented) with other materials.
One does not generally find tungsten carbide manufactured into anything all on its own. It needs to be combined with other materials and metals to form shape and be useful in the industries where this type of long lasting material is needed.
Tungsten carbide can only be scratched or damaged by a harder material such as diamond or corundum. Most often tungsten carbide is used in cutting tools, abrasives, ammunitions, industrial machinery, medical instruments, sporting equipment, tire studs, and jewelry.
Is It Real Tungsten Carbide?
To determine whether a purported piece of tungsten carbide is real or not, one needs to look closely to see if any scratches are appearing on the surface of the item. Tungsten carbide is an extremely hard, durable metal alloy that even when mixed with other metals retains its hardness and is generally impervious to scratching or damage.
Jewelry seems to be the most common form of tungsten carbide usage in the home, though there are a few other products that may be used as well (tire studs, trekking pole tips, fishing lures, knives, knife sharpeners, and snowmobile tread studs).
Men’s wedding rings and jewelry are being made with tungsten carbide from scrap carbide that has been processed by carbide scrap recycler and manufactured into fine jewelry for men. Rings are popular as they resist bending and damage. The one disturbing fact though is that since they don’t bend, and not able to be cut with typical ring cutters, should the ring become stuck or need to be removed, the only option is to crush it until it actually shatters.
Carbide scrap recycling provides an economical method to utilize scrap carbide and provides businesses with current carbide scrap pricing in exchange for their broken, damaged carbide and carbide filings. The processing and remanufacturing of this compound provides not only a strong income for those who are sending their scrap for recycling, but more jobs for the economy and product for retail.
How To Spot Tungsten Carbide in Household Products
As we’ve all ready seen, tungsten carbide is a compound used with other metals to form tools, jewelry, knives, tips for trekking poles, and studs for tires. If you have jewelry that you think may be tungsten carbide, the best way to check is to examine the surface of the item to see if there are any scratches and can it be scratched with normal, every day materials?
Tungsten carbide, whether from raw carbide or materials made from carbide scrap recycling will always prove harder and stronger than any other compound other than diamonds. Items made with carbide are usually well marked to indicate the value you are purchasing. A recent visit to a sporting goods store revealed that manufacturers are clearly stating whether their product is a hardened steel or carbide product.
A carbide scrap recycler like Carbide-USA, knows the current carbide scrap pricing and seeks out industries that use tungsten carbide as their primary metal compound for their machining and cutting tools. The scrap carbide is then recycled and sent to manufacturers to be processed into new product that is valuable in today’s market for numerous industries.
So the next time you are ready to get rid of those old items around your house, contact a scrap carbide recycling facility like Carbide-USA to see if there is carbide value in your items.